Looking Beyond the Numbers Association Executives of North Carolina February 8, 2013
Understanding a Public Opinion Survey Public Opinion Surveys are highly accurate – the real question is how reflective is the size of your data sets to the population you are trying to understand. A survey is not a predictor of behavior. A survey is a reflection of opinions and attitudes based upon the information that is presented. All surveys contain a mathematical margin of error as well as human error. Public Opinion Surveys should be used as a roadmap for your messaging strategy, not the answers to your questions. Learn to look beyond the numbers to gain a better understanding of how to communicate best with your target audience.
North Carolina is a Conservative StateIf you had to label yourself, would you say you are a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative in your politicalbeliefs? N=600 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% Liberal 25.0% Moderate 20.0% Conservative 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% Liberal Moderate ConservativeThe Ideological Center of North Carolina Voters is 22.9 points to the right (43.2-20.3 = 22.9)
North Carolina is Moderate to Conservative If you had to label yourself, would you say you are a liberal, a moderate, or a conservative in your political beliefs?35% 32.2%30% 23.7% Very Somewhat Somewhat Very25% N= Moderate Liberal Liberal Conservative Conservative 19.5% Republican 201 1.0% 0.5% 17.4% 33.3% 43.8%20% Democrat 267 16.9% 20.6% 38.2% 11.2% 7.5% 11.2% Unaffiliated 125 7.2% 8.8% 41.6% 16.0% 24.8%15% 9.3% Tea Party 66 1.5% 3.0% 10.6% 21.2% 63.6% White 459 8.0% 8.0% 31.3% 21.6% 27.1%10% Black 115 9.6% 25.2% 36.5% 10.4% 13.0% Male 288 7.6% 8.7% 30.2% 21.9% 27.1% 4.2% 5% Female 312 10.9% 13.5% 34.0% 17.3% 20.5% 0%N=600
Where You Stand in Your Universe Looking at the political ideology of voters who have a favorable opinion of Barrack Obama and those who have a favorable opinion of Pat McCrory, we can learn: Favorable Obama Favorable McCrory 45.0% 60.0% 40.0% 50.0% 35.0% 40.0% 30.0% 25.0% 30.0% Liberal 20.0% Liberal 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% Moderate 10.0% Moderate 0.0% Conservative 5.0% Conservative 0.0% The Ideological Center for President Obama is -22 to the left of 0, which means heis 44.9 points to the left of North Carolina voters. Governor McCrory is 41.2 points to the right of 0, which means he is 18.3 points to the right of North Carolina Voters.
Now Here How You Need to Look at North Carolina Republicans are 76.6 points to the right of 0 so they are 53.7 points to the right of center of NC Voters. Democrats are -18.8 points to the left of 0, so they are 41.7 points to the left of center of NC Voters. Unaffiliated Voters are 24.8 points to the right of 0, so they are 1.9 points to the right of center of NC Voters. President Obama is 98.6 points away from Republicans, so now you see why they view him as a liberal. Governor McCrory is 60 points to the right of Democrats, so now you see why they view him as a conservative. Republicans and Democrats are 95.4 points apart, so now you see why the two Parties are polarized. Unaffiliated Voters are 41.7 points to the right of Democrats and they are 53.7 points to the left of Republicans, so now you see why they feel like they have few choices in candidates. And yes, Unaffiliated Voters are closer to Democrats than they are to Republicans, which is why North Carolina is a purple state trending blue.